Outed Liskula Cohen Blogger Sues Google
Remember when Liskula Cohen forced Google to reveal an anonymous blogger who was using their domain to call her a “skank” and suggest she performed lewd sex acts? Naturally, now that she has been outed — as Rosemary Port, a Fashion Institute of Technology student — is suing Google for violating her privacy.
“This has become a public spectacle and a circus that is not my doing,” said Port, whose “Skanks in NYC” site branded the 37-year-old Cohen an “old hag.” “By going to the press, she defamed herself,” Port said. “Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my Web site: One from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it,” Port said. “That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated.”
That’s probably about right. I’d never heard of Liskula Cohen before the news of this suit went public. Then again, Cohen’s site was likely a first page result on Google when people searched for “Liskula Cohen.”
The pretty 29-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student added that she’s furious at Google for revealing her identity, so much so that she plans to file a $15 million federal lawsuit against the Web giant.
“When I was being defended by attorneys for Google, I thought my right to privacy was being protected,” Port said. “But that right fell through the cracks. Without any warning, I was put on a silver platter for the press to attack me. I would think that a multi-billion dollar conglomerate would protect the rights of all its users.”
In her suit, she’ll charge Google “breached its fiduciary duty to protect her expectation of anonymity,” said her high-powered attorney Salvatore Strazzullo.
“I’m ready to take this all the way to the Supreme Court,” Strazzullo said. “Our Founding Fathers wrote ‘The Federalist Papers’ under pseudonyms. Inherent in the First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously. Shouldn’t that right extend to the new public square of the Internet?”
While people have the right to try to keep their anonymity secret when writing, it’s not a positive right.
And, to the extent Google had a duty to protect Port’s identity, the certainly fulfilled it by defending it in court up to the point where a judge ordered them to reveal that information to Cohen.
It would cripple our civil law system if citizens or corporations could be sued for complying with court orders! Indeed, I’m not sure how to stop that merry-go-round.